Concepcion finds his place at center stage


Concepcion performs Romeo and Juliet at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre

Jasmine A. Santalla, Entertainment & Business Editor

 Senior Nick Concepcion has fallen off the grid at Hightstown High School and has taken his spot on stage in the Career Prep program at Mercer County Community College studying the art of theatre.

 While he attends the community college to study his art, he’s found that there’s is an array of benefits to participating at a school full of college kids. Concepcion loves the atmosphere and the change in mindset the college opens up for him.

 “It immediately brings you to a more mature mentality once you walk on campus,” Concepcion said. “It tests your independence and how you prioritize…nobody is feeding me the spoon anymore if you know what I mean.”

 Not only does the program push him to be on his own but, the teachers also give off a different and contagious energy, according to Concepcion.

 “One thing I really appreciate and love about the teachers that I have is that they’re extremely passionate in what they do, so that constantly motivates me to learn,” Concepcion said.

 Career prep is beneficial in a plethora of ways but he cannot help but feel down on what he’s missed out on so far during his senior year.

 “I’m no longer in the loop,” Concepcion said. “I also wanted to attend all high school events for my last year, but leaving to Mercer and going to work has made that nearly impossible.”

 His inspiration draws from many aspects of his life.  The desire to act came from an elementary school friend named Fàtima Ptacek.  Her rise to fame, while he sat in the shadows, fueled his motivation to follow his dreams.

“I was supposed to be in a Willy Wonka play with her but I backed down, that’s when I knew I had serious stage fright at such a young age… Several years later I see her on a gummy bear commercial and [she] is currently the voice of Dora,” Concepcion said.

 Although he had performing at the back of his mind, it took a few rounds of trial and error in different activities before he decided performing would be his route of choice.  Concepcion actually began his high school career as a basketball player for the HHS team.  A few complications decided for him that this was not his calling.

 “I’ve dislocated my knee three times because of basketball and now it dislocates all the time,” Concepcion said, “I’m not taking any more chances.”

 The artist has also been drawn to performing by a particularly special man in his life. His father has been a professional contemporary ballet dancer for years. Concepcion has always looked to follow in his footsteps.

 “As a little kid I always felt like they were clapping just for my dad. Today I look up to him not only as a performer but as a person.  I watch his actions in his personal life; it’s beautiful. It’s all genuine. That alone is a performance in my eyes because he leads by example and I’m watching him every step of the way,” Concepcion said, “The feeling I get from watching this man makes me want others to feel the same way when I’m on stage.”